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Chamber enjoying big year

DUBLIN — This past January, Peggy White stepped into the role of executive director for the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce with experience under her belt and a mind full of creative ideas, topped off with an enthusiastic spirit.
Seven months later, White’s enthusiasm is still present as she speaks of the Chamber’s recent accomplishments, which can in part be attributed to her experience and ideas. However, White gives all the credit to the Chamber members.
“I’m excited about the what the Chamber has accomplished so far this year,” White said. “I’m really proud of the members of our organization who have really stepped up to make a difference.”
As for the Chamber’s accomplishments, White listed the following:
•2008-2009 Business Directory was published along with the quarterly newsletter and weekly e-letter.
•The new county map was published listing all the Chamber members with locater and phone number. The Chamber ran a photo contest for the cover of the map. Over 200 entries were submitted depicting beautiful scenes from the area.
•The new web-site was launched with rave reviews. The first month over 2,800 people visited the web-site. Special features include relocation services, trip planner, and a calendar of events. In August the Chamber hopes to launch the “Member to Member Program” page on the website designed to encourage Chamber members to do business with Chamber members.
•The Chamber hosted the Legislative Dinner in Richmond during the Old Dominion Assembly and for the first time traveled to Richmond with the Town of Pulaski.
•The “2008 Celebrating Small Business Expo” held in May was the largest and most successful Business Expo to date.
•The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s “Welcome Pulaski Mariners Membership Luncheon” was well attended and sponsorship from Chamber members surpassed all previous years.
•The Chamber has continued to provide monthly networking opportunities for business and professionals. These after hours events have become so popular that they are sold out for the remainder of the year.
•The Chamber has joined with other members to welcome seven new businesses to the area, hosting ribbon cuttings.
•Hosted two Breakfast Briefings Business Seminars on legal hot topics.
•The Chamber has been responsible for assisting numerous local and special celebrations such as: 2008 Claytor Lake Festival, July Fourth Committee, the Thompson Tire Goodyear Blimp visit and the Heritage River Celebration.
As for the Chamber’s focus groups for small businesses, tourism and community and economic development, White said that there have been numerous accomplishments, and goals continue to be set.
For example, the small business focus group, which is headed by Chamber Small Business VP Jeff Jones, worked to develop media packets, which were introduced at the Business Expo and allowed Chamber members to enjoy advertising on radio, newspaper, special publications and on outdoor billboards.
In addition, the small business focus group has been hosting Brown Bag Lunch Business Seminars, which are informative, brief seminars designed to address specific topics of concern for business owners, such as effective low cost, no cost advertising, communication, and how to brand their company. Maps on starting a business are also in the final stages of development.
The group has also worked on redesigning the Chamber’s relocation services, White noted. She added that Jones was “integral in helping to develop these media and relocation packets.”
As for the tourism focus group, they distributed 600 “Welcome Bags” during Virginia Tech and Radford University’s graduation weekends in area hotels.
For the future, the tourism focus group has been developing a tourism marketing plan for 2009 that includes print and video advertising for the “Passionate Adventure Hunt” in Pulaski County, which is a two-fold plan designed to increase local awareness and to provide informational brochures to the county’s visitors center and other area attractions and to lead people to “discover their passion in the New River Valley.”
In addition, the group plans to participate with the Town of Pulaski, Town of Dublin and Pulaski County to develop a strategic tourism plan.
The community and economic development focus group has been making plans for the future as well, including petitioning to get an ABC Referendum on the November ballot in the Massie, Robinson, and Ingles districts, and developing a mentoring and job shadowing program, called “Youth Excel Program” to be introduced in October 2008 for 11th grade students in Pulaski County.
Again giving credit for these accomplishments to Chamber members, White said with these focus groups, Ken Bowling, president of the Chamber’s board of directors “has supported, encouraged and done whatever is possible to assist all of the focus groups with their goals.”
She also expressed her appreciation for the contributions of the past board of directors president, Spencer Rygas, who “insisted on bringing true value back into the Chamber membership.”

For more information about the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at www.pulaskichamber.info or call (540) 674-1991.

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Chamber enjoying big year

DUBLIN — This past January, Peggy White stepped into the role of executive director for the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce with experience under her belt and a mind full of creative ideas, topped off with an enthusiastic spirit.
Seven months later, White’s enthusiasm is still present as she speaks of the Chamber’s recent accomplishments, which can in part be attributed to her experience and ideas. However, White gives all the credit to the Chamber members.
“I’m excited about the what the Chamber has accomplished so far this year,” White said. “I’m really proud of the members of our organization who have really stepped up to make a difference.”
As for the Chamber’s accomplishments, White listed the following:
•2008-2009 Business Directory was published along with the quarterly newsletter and weekly e-letter.
•The new county map was published listing all the Chamber members with locater and phone number. The Chamber ran a photo contest for the cover of the map. Over 200 entries were submitted depicting beautiful scenes from the area.
•The new web-site was launched with rave reviews. The first month over 2,800 people visited the web-site. Special features include relocation services, trip planner, and a calendar of events. In August the Chamber hopes to launch the “Member to Member Program” page on the website designed to encourage Chamber members to do business with Chamber members.
•The Chamber hosted the Legislative Dinner in Richmond during the Old Dominion Assembly and for the first time traveled to Richmond with the Town of Pulaski.
•The “2008 Celebrating Small Business Expo” held in May was the largest and most successful Business Expo to date.
•The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s “Welcome Pulaski Mariners Membership Luncheon” was well attended and sponsorship from Chamber members surpassed all previous years.
•The Chamber has continued to provide monthly networking opportunities for business and professionals. These after hours events have become so popular that they are sold out for the remainder of the year.
•The Chamber has joined with other members to welcome seven new businesses to the area, hosting ribbon cuttings.
•Hosted two Breakfast Briefings Business Seminars on legal hot topics.
•The Chamber has been responsible for assisting numerous local and special celebrations such as: 2008 Claytor Lake Festival, July Fourth Committee, the Thompson Tire Goodyear Blimp visit and the Heritage River Celebration.
As for the Chamber’s focus groups for small businesses, tourism and community and economic development, White said that there have been numerous accomplishments, and goals continue to be set.
For example, the small business focus group, which is headed by Chamber Small Business VP Jeff Jones, worked to develop media packets, which were introduced at the Business Expo and allowed Chamber members to enjoy advertising on radio, newspaper, special publications and on outdoor billboards.
In addition, the small business focus group has been hosting Brown Bag Lunch Business Seminars, which are informative, brief seminars designed to address specific topics of concern for business owners, such as effective low cost, no cost advertising, communication, and how to brand their company. Maps on starting a business are also in the final stages of development.
The group has also worked on redesigning the Chamber’s relocation services, White noted. She added that Jones was “integral in helping to develop these media and relocation packets.”
As for the tourism focus group, they distributed 600 “Welcome Bags” during Virginia Tech and Radford University’s graduation weekends in area hotels.
For the future, the tourism focus group has been developing a tourism marketing plan for 2009 that includes print and video advertising for the “Passionate Adventure Hunt” in Pulaski County, which is a two-fold plan designed to increase local awareness and to provide informational brochures to the county’s visitors center and other area attractions and to lead people to “discover their passion in the New River Valley.”
In addition, the group plans to participate with the Town of Pulaski, Town of Dublin and Pulaski County to develop a strategic tourism plan.
The community and economic development focus group has been making plans for the future as well, including petitioning to get an ABC Referendum on the November ballot in the Massie, Robinson, and Ingles districts, and developing a mentoring and job shadowing program, called “Youth Excel Program” to be introduced in October 2008 for 11th grade students in Pulaski County.
Again giving credit for these accomplishments to Chamber members, White said with these focus groups, Ken Bowling, president of the Chamber’s board of directors “has supported, encouraged and done whatever is possible to assist all of the focus groups with their goals.”
She also expressed her appreciation for the contributions of the past board of directors president, Spencer Rygas, who “insisted on bringing true value back into the Chamber membership.”

For more information about the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at www.pulaskichamber.info or call (540) 674-1991.

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